Ninety-seven percent of US lawyers have an Avvo profile. With that profile comes a rating, which is Avvo’s effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background to help consumers decide if the attorney is right for their situation.
Avvo starts attorneys somewhere between 6.0 and 6.5. (Though I have seen as low as 5.8 and as high as 7.0.) While many lawyers have been quick to dismiss Avvo and ignore their profiles, it is a mistake to do so. Potential clients and referral sources are finding your Avvo profile – what do they see?
Your Avvo Profile – Prominent in Search Results
Below is a screenshot of the Avvo listing on the search engine results page (SERP) for an attorney I Googled. My search included “[the attorney’s name] attorney nc” and his Avvo profile was on the first page of results. As you see, his 6.8 rating out of 10 shows up on the SERP. A potential client does not have to click through to the Avvo profile to see the rating – it’s right there in the metadata. For a potential client comparing you versus another lawyer he or she is considering hiring, your 6-point-something rating may be all he or she needs to keep on looking.
Raising Your Avvo Rating – Claim Your Profile
If you want to raise your rating, claiming your profile is the first step. You can find instructions on how to claim your Avvo profile here.
One very important note: once you claim your profile, Avvo will start calling you to sell you their Pro Membership, advertising space, etc. Whether you should or should not pay for Avvo’s additional services is not within the scope of this post. However, if you want to stop their calls, you need to ask to be put on their “do not call list.” So the first time you speak to a representative, simply say “No thanks, please put me on your do not call list” and you should be all set.
Complete Your Profile
Next you will want to complete your profile with information about you and your practice. Completing your profile will raise your rating on the site. The more information you provide, the higher your rating will be.
Avvo does not share their algorithm for ratings, but I’ve heard representatives from Avvo state that the rating is based on three main areas for each lawyer:
- Disciplinary history/sanctions
- Professional achievements
One attorney I was working with was able to boost his rating from a 6.5 to a 9.5 by completing his profile. He has been practicing for more than 25 years, teaches at a local law school, is AV rated by Martindale, and has held several leadership positions with various professional and community associations.
For me personally, I found that listing my publications, like articles I’ve authored for bar association newsletters, and my presentations, as well as linking to these resources on other sites has raised my Avvo rating significantly.
Avvo provides additional information regarding their rating system on their website. If you really want to get into the details of raising your rating, their are subreddits on the topic, a few of which you can find here and here.
I’d encourage you to be less concerned with gaming the system, and instead focus on making this very visible piece of digital real estate an opportunity for a potential client to get to know you and learn more about you so they will feel comfortable calling you.
Claiming and completing your profile is only the beginning of how you can promote your practice through the site. What questions do you have about Avvo? Let me know in the comments.